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Is the NFL Domestic Violence Training Working?

Is the NFL Domestic Violence Training Working?

Despite the fact that every NFL football player is now required to take domestic violence training, it appears the mandatory program is not quite connecting. After dealing with the backlash associated with NFL players and domestic violence, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his team began meeting with experts in the area of domestic violence. According to Goodell, the goal was to obtain help for players, coaches, staff and their families who are impacted by domestic violence and to help prevent the crime in the future. To accomplish this goal, all those involved in the NFL participated in a broad-based domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse educational program.

Goodell also overhauled the NFL League’s personal conduct policy to provide “tough, fair, clear and consistent rules governing player conduct and discipline.” Yet according to the NFL players themselves, the league’s domestic violence training is “incredibly flawed.” The most common opinion among players is that the “tone” of the domestic violence program treats the players as a group of perpetrators. Additionally, in order to reach all thirty-two teams over a course of eight weeks, the training was administered in 60-minute sessions, including an in-person introduction and a 23-minute video. The content of these sessions varies widely, depending on who was administering the training.

Detroit Lions Expand on NFL Domestic Violence Training

The Detroit Lions have taken a somewhat different approach, bringing Kalimah Johnson in every year for the past seven years to speak to their rookie players. Despite current NFL “training,” Lions head coach Jim Caldwell asked Johnson, a three-time survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault, to expand her program to encompass the entire team. Johnson speaks to Detroit Lions players regarding the effects of domestic violence. Using a combination of Power Point slides which graphically show the effects of domestic violence, statistics on domestic violence and her own experiences, Johnson seeks to educate without judging. Johnson tells the players that “good, well-meaning men,” need to hold men who engage in domestic violence accountable for their behavior. Johnson educates players on warning signs of domestic violence as well as anger management.

Updated June 2015

12 NFL Players Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges Since 2005

Just recently, Chicago Bears defensive end Ray McDonald was released after he was arrested for domestic violence at the end of May. This is the latest in a long line of domestic violence arrests for NFL players this year. McDonald's release came just 9 months after he was arrested and charged with domestic violence for the first time.

The news has been rife with accounts of domestic violence among NFL players. According to an NBC news report from 2014, a dozen other players who have been arrested for domestic violence are still playing NFL football. While some of the “dirty dozen” fought their charges and prevailed, others accepted the blame, served a short suspension, and returned to their spot in the league. Others are still waiting for their day in court. The most powerful American sports league has faced growing criticism regarding how domestic violence cases among NFL players are handled.

Over the past 14 years, the NFL has seen 87 arrests of 80 players for domestic violence. In fact, DUI arrests for NFL players are the only category of criminal offenses which has a higher arrest rate.

Domestic Violence Is a Serious Offense

Domestic violence is a very serious criminal offense and it is one that is not taken lightly. Even an accusation of domestic violence is enough to get you arrested and slapped with a restraining order. False accusations of domestic violence unfortunately occur on a regular basis and detract from the real victims in our society. Yet jealous ex-spouses, ex-girlfriends, and even jilted lovers can file a domestic violence charge – even without the evidence needed to back up their claim.

Falsely Accused? Contact our Oakland Domestic Violence lawyer today.

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